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Study shows highly integrated digital financial services accounts go long way with consumers

About half of consumers say their digital financial services accounts are “highly integrated,” meaning it’s relatively easy in most cases to transact, make payments and see transaction histories across accounts and channels, according to new PYMNTS research.

Of course, if half of consumers are satisfied with their user experience, that means the other half aren’t. Consumers who frequently use multiple channels to access their accounts are more likely than the average consumer to want more integration from their providers, according to our research.

In “The Future Of Authentication In Financial Services: Engaging Consumers Across Channels And Devices,” a PYMNTS and Entersekt collaboration, we asked 2,719 United States consumers to examine how financial institutions can deepen relationships and build trust with consumers by ensuring cross-channel access across different devices.

Close to three out of every five consumers (56%) say their digital financial services accounts are “very” or “completely” integrated, with 655 of bridge millennials most likely to say they feel this way, and millennials just behind them at 64%.

More than three-fifths (62%) of consumers are satisfied with their providers’ current integration levels, but consumers who use multiple channels when looking over their online financial accounts are usually less satisfied than the average consumer.

Seventeen percent of these consumers say their current levels of integration are lower than what is needed, higher than the average share of 13%.

Our research also found that a financial institution that offers its customers a positive experience can earn their trust more quickly than those that don’t achieve this milestone. More than half (53%) of the accountholders we surveyed said their financial services providers’ ability to provide “integrated, consistent, cross-device experiences boosts their trust in them.”

That means integration can give providers the chance to deepen their relationships with accountholders — or destroy them.

Other key findings in “The Future Of Authentication In Financial Services: Engaging Consumers Across Channels And Devices” include:

  • Seven out of 10 bank account holders use online accounts, and nearly one-third of surveyed consumers have accounts with online-only banks. Meanwhile, 39% report having an account at a traditional retail or commercial bank with a physical branch.
  • One-quarter of consumers prefer to access their digital financial accounts across several devices. Bridge millennials and millennials are the most likely to do so, where 37% of bridge millennials and 36% of millennials toggle between different means of accessing accounts.
  • Mobile apps have become critical tools for finance, with 36% of consumers with digital financial services accounts saying they primarily access these accounts using apps on their mobile devices.